‘I began to be so scared of that man,’ recalled Michael. ‘In fact, I guess it’s safe to say I hated him.’

And it was that hate that was instrumental in perhaps the weirdest aspect of the singer’s life – the constant transformation of his appearance, turning a cute and bubbly Afro-American boy into an image-obsessed, eccentric pop star…

Most of his unhappiness was focused on his nose. For a long time he talked of having cosmetic surgery. His motive was not, as many people surmised, to look more like his idol, Diana Ross.

It was so that he would look less like his father, the man who had so mistreated him and whose strong, broad-nosed face he saw looking back at him from the mirror.